A second-hand SpaceX rocket launched a new fleet of Starlink internet satellites into orbit and returned to Earth to make a spectacular landing at sea early Wednesday (May 18).
the two stages Falcon 9 Rocket topped with 53 starlink The spacecraft flew over Florida morning skies from NASA’s Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Takeoff was at 6:59 a.m. EDT (1059 GMT), about 39 minutes after SpaceX Initially planned.
“Falcon 9 has successfully launched carrying 53 Starlink satellites into space,” Jesse Anderson, SpaceX’s production manager, said during a live webcast. The launch marks SpaceX’s third Starlink mission in five days following missions on May 13 and May 14.
About nine minutes after takeoff, the Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth with a smooth landing SpaceX drone ship deficit in Gravitas In the Atlantic Ocean, where built-in cameras capture stunning videos of the entire descent. Anderson said it was landing number 121 for SpaceX’s catalyst.
Starlink is SpaceX’s broadband constellation, which currently consists of More than 2,300 satellitesAccording to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell. This number has been increasing rapidly in recent times; SpaceX has already launched 21 missions in 2022, 14 of which were intended for Starlink flights as of Wednesday’s launch.
But the Starlink population could get really huge in the not too distant future; The next generation version of the constellation may eventually consist of as many as 30,000 satellites, according to Reuters report.
Wednesday’s mission was the fifth for this first stage of Falcon 9. SpaceX previously used the booster rocket to launch its mission on Arabsat-6A and Space Test Project-2 . flight for US Space Force (both as one of the two lateral boosters on a Falcon Heavy Rocket); Beside COSMO-SkyMed 2nd Generation FM2 . Satellite to Italy and a previous Starlink flight.
This reuse is a priority for SpaceX and its founder and CEO, Elon Muskwho sees rapid and frequent return of light as the key breakthrough needed to make ambitious exploration feats such as settling Mars economically feasible.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook.
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